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The Secrets of the Inquisitor (PFRPG) $3.95
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The Secrets of the Inquisitor (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of the Inquisitor (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2012 09:57:48

This pdf is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement and 1 page SRD, leaving 19 pages of content for the Inquisitor, so let's check out whether this treatment of the Inquisitor surpasses the one of the oracle!

The pdf kicks off by providing us with new archetypes for the inquisitor, all of which not only provide crunchy rules, but also in-character prose to draw one into the mindset of the respective inquisitors, which is plain awesome and enhances one's desire to play the respective archetypes and often include potential adventure and organization hooks. The first archetype, the Heron of the Fountain, is an uncommon archetype to say the least and can be considered a stroke of genius: Running with the theme of fanaticism, being well-founded or misplaced, the first archetype is all about temperance - abstinence from alcohol and drugs and the ideals of the prohibition, including e.g. women's rights and the ability to stand up to abusive addicts. The two sample branches provided neatly fit different foci and rules-wise, underworld-savvy, trapfinding, affliction-detecting and organization-targeting inquisitors add a whole new facet to the class - and I haven't yet spoken about the hooks galore that the mere existence of this archetype presents and the social conundrums it represents.

The Thief-taker, on the other hand, is more straight-forward and classic archetype: Essentially a detective with access to urban tracking as well as rogue talents and the ability to trace unerringly those seeking to evade him, the archetype is less far-out in its in-game impact, but no less intriguing and well-crafted.

The Monster Hunter on the other hand does not wholly live up to the awesomeness he could have been - while the archetype enables an inquisitor to measure a monster's power, the ability to cast find quarry and grants the ability to better kill off foes and resist their attacks, especially when directly compared to the other archetypes, this one falls somewhat flat and left me with a distinct feeling of having seen similar ideas before. An ok archetype, I guess, but nothing too innovative or exciting.

The Questioner of Trail and Tide on the other hand will have players of the Skull & Shackles AP excited, as it is essentially a hunter of pirates, marauders and the like who gets essentially the abilities you'd expect with a focus on agility and the option to measure foes, but also comes with a pool of points that enable them to temporarily stagger foes via ill omens. It is this ability that makes the archetype truly stand out and feel original, so kudos for it.

The Truth Seeker is a rather complex and exciting archetype: Gaining full BAB and a barbarian's rage and rage powers instead of teamwork feats, this archetype also replaces solo tactics and offer the players of the class the powers to discern truth from falsehood and rage against the lying scum that dare defy the holy order they represent. The penultimate inquisitor is a god (or rather devil's-)send for DMs and players of Chelaxian PCs and those playing Fire Mountain Games excellent Way of the Wicked AP - the Purifiers of the burning pentagram are inquisitors devoted to Asmodeus who can torment and kill foes with hellfire, sheathe their weapons in unholy flames and even add hellfire bursts to their weapons. It should be noted that for the purpose of this class, Hellfire damage is considered half fire and half unholy damage. Now add SGG's great hellfire magic-supplement and we're in for awesomeness indeed.

The Channeling Martinet is another interesting archetype in that it replaces several abilities of the inquisitor with the option to channel energy. If you own the "Secrets of Divine Channeling" by RiP, you're in for some cool massive synergy effects - purely optional, though. If you don't own the book, the archetype still works but to fully utilize it, you'll need the book. The artifice and war domains and their channeling effects are also part of the deal.

Inquisitors are more than archetypes, though, and thus we get 5 new inquisitions, ranging from Asmodeus' hellfire-fueled wrath to the option to force members of a faction to submit to your will as well as the option to provide bonuses to your allies if they adhere to your vision of temperance. The Supernatural Inquisition is suitable for monster hunters and in the end, I didn't consider any of them bad.

Then, though, we get to the true meat of the book with 36 new feats for solo-tactics- but don't expect regular teamwork feats here! While the Inquisitor has traditionally been more associated with Western culture, there actually is a wealth of characters from Eastern mythology and literature that could be considered inquisitors. Thus, these feats are often named after lines from Sun Tzu and Zhuge Lian and offer options to play DIRTY. There is no code of conduct for the inquisitor - honor is for cavaliers, paladins and similar fools - you fight to win. And thus, these feats can provoke foes to attack allies, provide a rules-framework with "Besiege Wei to rescue Zhao" to hold enemies captive at knife-point to an all-around feint and even the option of adding a bunch of spells to you lists. Some feats grant you access to powerful spells, which are usable once per day, but not used up when the recipient succeeds his/her/its save, ensuring its usefulness. And then there are the truly smart ones, like the ability to adequately deceive hostile spellcasters by feigning affliction by e.g. charm-spells. Other examples include a feat that enables you to capitalize on your allies inflicting negative conditions on your foes, attacking the opponents and making it seem as if it hadn't been you. And not even magic might track you: Care to give you and your allies a constant misdirection-spell? There's a feat for this! generally, the feats are rather specific in the circumstances in which they are useful and provide complex, intriguing stratagems for your inquisitor to use, enhancing greatly the usability of the class and making this whole section not only a good example of clever design, but also a must-have for inquisitor-players out there. Plus: Come on, what is cooler than saying "I save my ally via Slough Off the Cicada's Golden Shell!" (By the way: Once per day, save a dying ally by negating damage and placing an illusion of his death in place - neato!) However, while the feats come with some massive restrictions and some hefty prerequisites, you should be aware that they are advanced, anything but simple and, in the right circumstance, have the potential to turn the tide of battle. Smart fighting is a must when using these and while they might seem strong at first, closer lecture always shows how/why they are balanced the way they are. Seeing how Solo Tactics has been mostly neglected by other pdfs on the inquisitor, this particular chapter is just awesome. It should also be noted that SGG's War Master an also easily utilize these new feats by changing out Solo Tactics for Individual Tactics.

The final page of the pdf provides us with 11 new judgments ranging from dimensionally anchoring foes hit, gaining DR against non-lethal attacks and even the ability to keep his allies up to his status via warning signs. Again, cool judgments, nice ideas, nothing to complain about.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting of V.3.0 are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches that impeded my enjoyment of the pdf. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked. Artworks are mostly fitting stock and b/w. All right, I'll come out and say it: If you like the inquisitor and want to amplify the amount of available options for your favorite fanatic, there's simply no way around this pdf. It is vastly superior to the rather bad "Secrets of the Oracle" and in fact replaces Open Design's Divine Favor-pdf on the inquisitor as my favorite supplement for the class. The archetypes are mostly smart and extremely iconic, the inquisitions and judgments are nice and the solo-tactic-feats are STELLAR and exciting. The pdf redefines the up until now rather narrow confines of the class and expands its scope and options in a way that is only rarely seen in any class-supplement. While not all archetypes hit my sweet spot and some of their abilities have been done before, most have something innovative going for them and while some of the feats may seem powerful, their restrictions make this additional power justified. All in all, this is a very good sourcebook that once again provides a great example on Steven D. Russell's ability to write excellent and iconic crunch (and fluff). My final verdict will be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of the Inquisitor (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/28/2012 06:28:40

The Secrets of the Inquisitor, the latest offering from Rite publishing in the Secrets of...series weighs in at 23 pages, with a cover, credits page, OGL and one ad, leaving us with 19 pages of new Inquisitor goodness. The formatting follows the standard dual column approach, and where as there are some odd spacing effects from time to time within the text, that while slightly distracting to the eye, they do not in any way detract from the understanding of the material. Artwork is both old and new, stock and original. One of the things that, to me, truly makes Rite's books stand out from other companies when it comes to the visual aspect, is their usage of artwork that carries a feel of history to it. I was pleased to see that this product continued that theme, albeit not quite as prevalent as I might have liked. There are a few pieces of stock art here that have been recycled a few times now, but they are at least good pieces of art. And I would rather see art I've seen before, than no art.

Offering new archetypes, inquisitions, feats and judgments, there is a great deal here to go through, so shall we? Starting off with the Herons of the Fountain, this order of inquisitors will please any GM looking to unleash prohibition upon their world. Reading through the description of this orders mantra, their tactics and motivations all I kept coming back to were the prohibition era police and women's groups, determined to put an end to the devilment of intoxication. Next up we have the Thief-Taker, an archetype I can guarantee you will be seeing my game table this coming game night. The classic Good Bad-guy, a rogue seeking redemption, that character who always seems to be in-tune with the wrong side of the law, even though he's not quite there himself....that guy. Individuals selling their talents in tracking, negotiating and returning items or people, to those who can pay. And of course, those who pay decide who the guilty are, and therefore who the target of the thief-taker is. Next on the menu, the Monster Hunter Ala Van Helsing anyone? This archetype seems to be missing a word or two in the description of one of it's class abilities (“....the monster learns the relative power of a single monster.....”) I'm going to have to assume this was supposed to read Monster Hunter learns....Regardless of that hiccup, this is a cool archetype, and seriously takes the inquisitor into the realm of the Church's worst kept secret, those hunting monsters in the name of their church. From there we go to Questioner of Trail and Tide, inquisitors focusing on the brigands and bandits of the world, both on land and sea. Believing themselves to answer only to a higher calling, here's where you find that inquisitor who strides into a community hunting prey, ignoring all the laws of that land to carry out a death sentence on their foes, as for this archetype, justice and holy vengeance are their top priority. Truth Seeker introduces us to those inquisitors who are in fact seeking, truth. With several interesting class abilities to enhance one's pursuit of truth, as well as the added bonus of rage and rage powers, this archetype has potential to be interesting. One thing that left me confused, and it might be my own ignorance, but the Grasp of Honesty ability can be overcome if the target makes a Wave wondering if that was supposed to be a Will save, or if somewhere along the way getting a crowd to do the bleachers wave with you has gained the ability to save you from in-game effects....The Purifiers of the Burning Pentagram detail an inquisitor I personally thought was missing, and so these guys make me very happy, as they are agents of a church that is not of a good alignment. Inquisitors serving Asmodeus, they are able to harness and use hellfire for several different effects, and this archetype truly goes hand in hand with a recent release from the SGG camp concerning hellfire, and several usages for it. With Channeling Martinet we are given an alternate inquisitor who can harness and channel energy, much as a cleric does, for various different effects, at the cost of several of the standard class abilities known to the inquisitor.

Following the new archetypes, we're given a handful of new inquisitions, which Is always a good thing. Asmodeus' Inquisition opens with a line telling us to purify weakness with the fires of thinking that was supposed to say hell...not positive, but taking in the rest of the context it makes more sense. Faction Inquisition allows you to target an entire faction or organization with your wrath, and even dominate someone into betraying their loyalties. Marauder's Inquisition improves upon the standard attack action by making it a devoted strike. Adding dice to the actual roll, as well as modifier bonuses to damage if the hit is successful. Secondary ability being to improve ones usage during the surprise round, giving the inquisitor more actions as a player. Supernatural Inquisition gives a hp damage reduction when dealing with supernatural creatures, as well as supernatural inquisition points, their usage, and rules determining when you earn them, and how many you can have. Temperance Inquisition grants through touch morale bonuses and additional saving throws vs. effects.

With 36 new feats, the Feat section of this book obviously offers up a nice variety for players of all types. With names inspired by the writings of Sun Tzu (Sit on the Mountain and Watch the Tigers Fight, Kill With a Borrowed Knife, Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao to give a few examples), these feats allow for an inquisitor to become a much more dangerous individual upon the battlefield. And, as an added bonus, as we have seen a few times before, once again the Rite and SGG camp are shaking hands and designing with each other in mind, as these feats are usable by the SGG class War Master as well, with the slight modification to the prerequisite of changing out Solo Tactics for Individual Tactics.

11 new judgments bring us to a close, with such options as Accepting, which allow you to effectively only have to take half the amount of a detrimental affliction or effect. Personally, this was my favorite of the new judgments, as this gives us a solid game mechanic that works for those characters that accept that life sucks, stuff happens, and just trudge on regardless...folks like that tend to be better at carrying a mantle of detriment, and this gives us a way to reflect that within game. Typhoon Struggle has the potential to be a really cool, and I mean really cool, judgment in the hands of a high power inquisitor. The long and the short of it is, character has a weapon, and for every x amount of levels they also have a duplicate of said weapon made of energy. Upon a successful hit, that weapon and all of it's duplicates do damage...seeing the visual yet? Yeah, like I said, that could be epic in the hands of a high level inquisitor.

Closing thoughts, a lot of really good material, some fantastic interpretations of the inquisitor via archetypes, as well as the inquisitions, feats and judgments. The material offered here is fantastic, making this PDF a welcome addition to any group currently using or looking to use an inquisitor. And where as there are a few minor hiccups left, the meaning is still conveyed well enough that they are easily overlooked. Giving this PDF a 5 star rating

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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